The next time a “game changing” industry wants to take a hard look at locating in Central Louisiana, stakeholders need to be ready.
That was the big takeaway for local and state economic developers when the area narrowly missed out on a Continental Tire Plant in 2011, and it has been driving efforts ever since.
Today, stakeholders announced progress has been made on developing a nearly 1,600-acre “megasite” at England Airpark.
“What we’re working on right now is a game changer,” said Scott Linzay, chair of the England Authority’s Board of Commissioners. “It’s something that can affect our children and grandchildren.”The state has committed $11.8 million to the project, with $2 million in matching funds from the England Authority, which has already invested $4 million in the project.
The hope is to land a large-scale prospect that will create hundreds of jobs, such as the planned aluminum manufacturing complex in Pineville that is expected to employ nearly 1,500 people.
“We’re talking about manufacturing facilities that will bring jobs and wealth into our community,” Grafton said. “Something that moves the economic needle for this area.”
With the planned megasite, England Airpark will be “easily the best manufacturing site in Louisiana and one of the best in the South,” Clinton said.
“When you think about the assets across the state of Louisiana, England Airpark really stands out,” said Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Steven Grissom.